Ten years ago, two children witnessed a murder that still haunts them as adults.
Tali watched as two masked figures killed her mother, and now she has sworn revenge. Even though she is a slave. Even though she is powerless. Even though she is nothing in the eyes of those who live above ground, she will find her mother’s killers and bring them to justice.
Rix, heir to Hightspall’s greatest fortune, is tormented by the fear that he’s linked to the murder, and by a sickening nightmare that he’s doomed to repeat it.
When a chance meeting brings Tali and Rix together, the secrets of an entire kingdom are uncovered and a villain out of legend returns to throw the land into chaos. Tali and Rix must learn to trust each other and find a way to save the realm — and themselves. – From Amazon
Growing up, Ian Irvine‘s The Three Worlds Cycle introduced me to the world of fantasy, and to reading epic fantasy. His characters and worlds have a complexity and sense of realism like nothing I had read before; drawing me in, and engulfing my imagination. His novels have always been amongst my favourites.
Vengeance, book one in The Tainted Realm series is no different. His world, and his characters complex and unique. However, I am at odds with this book.
On one hand, I found it to be quite an enjoyable read, and as I had wanted to revisit Irvine’s writing for some time now (though, via rereading The Three Worlds Cycle) it satisfied that want. His world is vivid, unique and complicated, the story wasn’t boggled down by too many details, and was combined with both futuristic and medieval elements. On this alone, I would recommend reading Vengeance.
However, there were a few issues I had with it as well. For much of the first third the book, I found it rather hard to follow; frequently finding myself lost and confused due to a variety names and creatures with little to no known background story. Though, this cleared up as the novel progressed.
As well, while his characters were likeable enough — though Rix got annoying at times — and their interactions with each other were quite enjoyable, I wasn’t able to completely get emotionally vested with any of them.
Vengeance was a bit of a mixed bag, while it certainly wasn’t as good as it could have been, it was undoubtedly an enjoyable read; I found myself staying up until the early hours of the morning for a couple of nights to finish it, and promptly purchased the second, Rebellion upon completion.
Justice, Book three of The Tainted Realms is set to be released later this year.